Pat Launer on San Diego Theater
By Pat Launer , SDNN
Thursday, June 18, 2009
READ REVIEWS OF: “The Fantasticks ,” “Unusual Acts of Devotion,” “The Butcher of Baraboo”
Mini Review of : “ Dogugaeshi ,” “Mary and Myra ”
THE SHOW: “The Fantasticks ,” the world’s longest-running show (42 years; 17,162 performances; cited in the Guinness Book of World Records), at Lamb’s Players Theatre
Freely adapted from Edmond Rostand’s 1894 play, “Les Romanesques ” (‘The Romancers’), the whimsical musical by Harvey Schmidt (music) and Tom Jones (lyrics and book — no, not that Tom Jones, btw) is all about rejuvenation, or “why Spring is born out of Winter’s laboring pains,” as the gloriously poetic text puts it. From its inception in Greenwich Village in 1960, the piece has always been done simply, with a platform, a trunk and minimal props. There’s got to be a magical spontaneity to the performance, which unfolds like a fairy tale. Like most romantic fables, it turns grim and dark before it reaches the Maybe of happily-ever-after.
The story concerns two neighboring fathers who plot to unite their young offspring. But in order to make the kids fall in love, the parents feel they must feign enmity and build a wall between their yards, because they know children will always do exactly the opposite of what their parents want (a philosophy beautifully embodied in the dad duets, “Never Say No” and “Plant a Radish”). With the titillation of a wall between them (cf. Pyramus and Thisbe ), the young people do indeed fall hard for each other. Now the fathers need a way to end their feud, so they plan another extravagant ruse, hiring the dashing and dastardly El Gallo, aided by an old actor and his sidekick who specializes in death scenes. They’re to perform a mock abduction (originally called a rape, but the lyrics of the song were revised for a recent revival of the show in New York ). The boy is to fight off the assailants, proving his valor to his beloved and paving the way for reconciliation between the parents. All this romantic intrigue happens by moonlight, but in the unblinking light of day, the deception is revealed, the lovers quarrel and the young man goes off to see the world. The young woman plans to have adventures of her own, with El Gallo. After both are disappointed and disgraced, they come together again, having learned (from the show’s most popular song, “Try to Remember”) that “without a hurt the heart is hollow.”
Lamb’s Players Theatre does wonderful work with small musicals. Once again, they’ve wisely kept it simple and maintained all the magic, though they’ve jazzed up the score, thanks to musical director Charlie Reuter , in collaboration with musical consultant Jon Lorenz. There’s even a rap number, which is a hoot. Mike Buckley’s set is as whimsical as Deborah Gilmour Smyth ’s direction. There’s little actual sense of reality here (how could there be, when a Mute plays the wall?). There’s a pick-up-sticks-looking metal platform that serves as a tree and treehouse , backed by a wall painted in brightly colored bubbles. The band is superb. Reuter’s on piano, and true to the original orchestrations, there’s a guitar (PJ Bovee ), percussion (David Rumley) and harp (Leah Panos ). Lovely.
Gilmour Smyth has cast well, and the humor, as well as the darkness of the piece, are nicely highlighted. As the young lovers, Courtney Evans and Steve Limones are charming. Both start out with a delightful innocence and both have excellent voices. John Rosen and Antonio “T.J.” Johnson are very vaudevillian as the two fathers, slapping each other, doing soft-shoe and kick-lines and having one heckuva time. As Henry, the bloviating, pontificating, declaiming mangler of Shakespeare, Robert Smyth , Lambs’ producing artistic director, gives a virtuoso performance, kind of a culmination of his life in the theater. A hilarious turn. And he’s nicely complemented by Brian Barbarin as his goofy henchman, pulling wild items out of a trunk (from which the two also emerge), including a few great, colorful, curly wigs (costumes, a mishmash of styles and eras, by Jeanne Reith ). Joyelle Cabato has moments as The Mute (also the wall). At times, her presence, and her dancing, however balletic, feel intrusive. But sometimes, she’s just right, and she actually gets to sing a bit at the end, which is pretty good for a Mute. As the seductive El Gallo, Colombian-born Mauricio Mendoza looks picture-perfect, leather pants and all. He spices up his tantalizing dialogue with Spanish phrases. But he’s not vocally up to the task, which sounds best in a robust and hearty baritone. Still, his acting and appeal manage to carry the character.
This is the ideal summer show: lilting, musical, light with a little undertone of darkness and with something to say. Don’t miss it.
THE LOCATION: Lamb’s Players Theatre, 1142 Orange Ave. , Coronado . (619) 437-0600 ; www.lambsplayers.org
THE DETAILS: Tickets: $22-58. Tuesday- Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday-Saturday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 4 p.m., Sunday at 2 p.m. , through July 26.
THE BOTTOM LINE: BEST BET
THE SHOW: “Unusual Acts of Devotion,” a year-old creation by five-time Tony Award winner Terence McNally (“Love! Valour ! Compassion !, ” “Master Class,” and the books for the musicals “Kiss of the Spider Woman,” “Ragtime” and “The Full Monty”), at the La Jolla Playhouse
It feels like a freshman effort, and it’s fraught with sophomoric sentiment. Hard to believe this is the same writer who gave us “Ragtime” and “Master Class.” “Unusual Acts of Devotion” has McNally’s signature humor and melancholy, nostalgia and dwelling on death. But there isn’t much plot and the characters are two-dimensional caricatures, and not very interesting ones at that. Under the direction of Trip Cullman, the high-profile performers don’t seem to inhabit these folks as much as play at them. The supposed complexity of their foibles isn’t deep or credible, and it’s difficult to work up a sweat for any of them.
Five disparate people meet on the roof of their Greenwich Village building on W. 10th Street , what one of them calls the “ Plage du Tar.” It’s hot; they’re trying to get some air. Two of them are celebrating a wedding anniversary. One of them is just out of rehab; another is getting ready to die. And the last is still grieving over his lost boyfriend, who jumped off this very roof several years ago. They’ve all slept with each other along the way, and though these ‘secrets’ are revealed over the course of one act/one night, no one seems to be surprised or concerned. Even the adoring wife, Nadine (Maria Dizzia ), who doesn’t seem at all like an artist, doesn’t appear to be bothered by the fact that her husband, Leo (Joe Manganiello ), who doesn’t seem in any way like a jazz musician (more like a good-natured, puppy-dog hunk) slept with Josie (Harriet Harris), the wild woman of the bunch, who has a Blanche DuBois penchant for cozying up to students and losing her job, not to mention overdoing her “prescription drugs” and any available alcohol. That dalliance was only five months into the young couple’s marriage. Leo has slept with several men, but not Chick (Richard Thomas), the gay, grieving, confused tourist bus driver down the hall. Chick wishes it were otherwise. Leo is diabetic, but he can’t give himself shots (his male and female neighbors are happy to oblige). Josie is depressed, or maybe bipolar (she makes a joke to that effect). Chick is depressed, but thinks he’s happy. Nadine thinks Josie and Chick should get married. Mrs. Darnell (Doris Roberts) makes curmudgeonly comments to everyone about everything, but she loves it when Leo rubs her feet. Dinner is talked about but never eaten. And hovering over it all, hiding in the shadows of the water tower, is the silent Man (Evan Powell), who’s either a serial killer or the Grim Reaper. It doesn’t play much better than it sounds, and it ends with a monologue delivered by Mrs. Darnell, who’s already dead; her pronouncements on life seem to have come straight from a fortune cookie. And the valentine to Manhattan comes directly from Hallmark.
There’s such heavy-hitting talent involved: Roberts is a five-time Emmy winner (four for her role on “Everyone Loves Raymond”); Harris won a Tony as Mrs. Meers in “Thoroughly Modern Millie” (seen first at the Playhouse in 2000). She also appeared there in “Cry-Baby” (2007). Thomas won an Emmy as John-Boy on “The Waltons .” Manganiello plays Owen in the CW drama “One Tree Hill,” and Dizzia , an alumna of the MFA program at UC San Diego, was on the Playhouse stage in “ Sheridan ” (2000) and has played in regional theaters as well as Off Broadway and on the large and small screen. So what happened? Well, there’s not much depth to the play or the performances, so pretty much everyone bears the burden of responsibility.
No complaints at all about the technical aspects of the production. The set was designed by the legendary Santo Loquasto for the Philadelphia Theatre Company production last year, and it was moved here intact, a wonderful evocation of a New York rooftop, with the skyline twinkling in the distance. The lighting (Ben Stanton) and sound (John Gromada ) are excellent, too, especially that helicopter searchlight effect, which blows the hair and skirts, though it does overstay its welcome in repeated visits. The intriguing musical selections range from Miles Davis to Edith Piaf.
There are a few funny lines, a few touching moments. But overall, there isn’t much “Unusual” going on.
THE LOCATION: La Jolla Playhouse (Potiker Theatre), on the campus of UCSD. ( 858) 550-1010 ; www.lajollaplayhouse.org
THE DETAILS: Tickets: $30-65. Tuesday-Wednesday at 7:30 p.m., Thursday-Saturday at 8 p.m., Sunday at 7 p.m., Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m., through June 28.
THE SHOW: “The Butcher of Baraboo,” a 2007 darkly comic drama by Chicago playwright Marissa Wegrzyn , produced by Moxie Theatre
There actually is a Baraboo, Wisconsin . I thought it was a fictional town. But no, it’s 5.3 square miles along the Baraboo River . Population 11,550. Former headquarters and winter home of Ringling Brothers Circus. That would explain the two performing elephants on the police emblem patch. The Moxie Theatre gals have gotten every element down. The detailed wood-grain and avocado kitchen (set by Amy Chini and Esther Emery ). The cold-weather clothes (costumes by Jennifer Brawn Gittings , who keeps almost everything in shades of red, white and blue). The music bed (sound by Matt Lescault -Wood) is decidedly retro, ranging from Pat Benatar to Billy Joel, ELO to Super Tramp and Manfred Mann. And the accents… well, they’re spot-on.
But those are the trimmings. The centerpiece here is a bright, shiny meat-cleaver, and Valerie ( Linda Libby ) uses it every chance she gets. Of course, at work (she’s the titular Butcher). But also when she’s cross or crossed. On the uppity bag of Starbucks coffee her 32 year-old daughter Midge (Wendy Waddell) has brought home. To threaten her sister-in-law Gail ( DeAnna Driscoll ), the unstable cop of the town. But not on her missing husband’s brother Donal (Don Evans) or his wide-eyed Mormon wife, Sevenly (Jennifer Eve Thorn), with six kids to care for. Nobody knows what happened to Valerie’s husband, or why Gail is so angry and Donal and Sevenly are so jittery. Secrets dribble out like droplets of blood. A little drug abuse, some violence. A whole lot of funny lines and business. And the intrigue of small-town entanglements. It all gets sorted out in the end, sort of. The dénouement comes too quickly and obliquely. But otherwise, Wegrzyn has created a deliciously daft and nasty play, and Moxie has certainly risen to the quirky occasion. This is just the kind of off-beat piece they relish and present to perfection.
Director Delicia Turner Sonnenberg has amassed an outstanding cast, and each carves out a delectably eccentric character. Libby is terrific as the seemingly unruffled type who has a whole lot roiling beneath the surface. Waddell is hilarious as a bad-girl who never grew up, nose-ring, blue-streaked hair and all. Nobody deadpans a sarcastic line like she does. Driscoll plays big and brash, funny and flawed. Thorn does prissy very well. Evans has the least to play, but he does it admirably. For the most part, this is women’s work, and it’s just so much darned fun.
THE LOCATION: Moxie Theatre at Diversionary Theatre, 4545 Park Blvd. , Hillcrest. ( 858) 598-7620 ; www.moxietheatre.com
THE DETAILS: Tickets: $15-25. Thursday-Saturday at 8 p.m., Sunday at 2 p.m. , through June 28. Girlfriend Night 6/18 with pre-show reception at 7 p.m. Special Performance on Monday 6/22 at 8 p.m.
THE BOTTOM LINE: BEST BET
… The Great One’s Wife: Mary Todd Lincoln referred to her late husband as The Great One. She was a traditional wife, raising – and losing — three sons. After the assassination, her sole surviving son, Robert Todd Lincoln, confiscated her money and possessions and had her committed to an insane asylum. New York playwright Catherine Filloux penned a wonderful character study, “Mary and Myra,” pitting the dutiful wife against an ardent suffragist, Myra Bradwell , Illinois ’ first female lawyer. There is little in the public record, and Filloux fleshes out the story with two wonderful creations. The piece lends itself extremely well to a reading. And Write Out Loud, which specializes in reading literature aloud to live audiences, has chosen well – and cast well – for its first foray into a play. Kim Strassburger , a fine director and dramaturge, helmed this production, which includes a few props and lovely period costumes. It’s easy to forget this is a reading, especially with performers as compelling as Veronica Murphy (co-founder of Write Out Loud) and Linda Libby (currently starring in Moxie Theatre’s “The Butcher of Baraboo,” see above). WOL performed the piece a couple of months ago, and is reprising it as part of fundraising events for Francine Busby , who’s running for Congress in the 50th District. This week’s performance was at the Carlsbad Library. The next presentation is called “High Tea and Theater” and will take place Saturday, June 20, from 3-6 p.m. in a private La Jolla home. ( details at busbyforcongress.com). It’s definitely worth a look-see.
Set in the summer of 1875, the 90-minute play chronicles the prickly friendship between Mrs. Lincoln and Ms. Bradwell , who’s hellbent on getting the former First Lady out of the barred-window hellhole, by exposing the injustices of her trial and the shady business dealings of her son. As they reveal details of their private lives, and share their disparate perceptions of womanhood and personal freedom, both Mary’s sanity and Myra ’s motives are called into question.
Murphy is wonderful as Mary, a woman rife with contradictions: one moment calm, pleasant, clear-eyed and rational; the next, angry, impulsive, explosive and delusional. Libby’s Myra is also fascinatingly complex, a smart, accomplished publisher, activist and attorney who’s thwarted in her every professional effort. She chafes against the men and the system that insist she belongs at home. Her no-nonsense demeanor and outspoken nature belie hidden problems as mother and wife, though the sexual revelations about her marriage seem a bit gratuitous. Then there’s the backstory of the death of one of her two daughters (she actually had four children, and two died young, but that’s not in the play). Among other things, according to Filloux , the two women seem to share the neglect of a living child after the death of other offspring. The play has an interesting trajectory, as the emotions and arguments (personal and philosophical) take some thought-provoking twists and turns. Though Bradwell seemed to have been seeking acclaim with the Lincoln case, and went all the way to the Supreme Court with her own suit to be admitted to the Bar, she is still relegated to a footnote in history. And most people don’t know much about Mary Todd Lincoln’s emotional state, except that she, like her husband, was prone to depression. A captivating story, excellently enacted.
…Screening: It’s an ancient Japanese tradition that has just about disappeared. But Basil Twist, master puppeteer, saw a 30-second snippet of film about “ Dogugaeshi ,” which means ‘set change,’ and he set out to master the craft. He traveled to Japan to research it, went to the island where it flourished ( Awaji ), and chased down the last old folks who remember it. The artform goes back to the 16th century; by the 17th-18th century, Awaji Island had become a rural center of puppetry, with 80 competing companies. One part of that competition was to have the most elaborate backgrounds to their shows, with rapidly changing screens. Dogugaeshi , which focused primarily on the intricately painted screens, continued for quite some time, but then virtually died out. Twist found old, torn-up screens from the old days. He located a museum with a collection of 19th century screens. In the talkback after the performance, he said he considered the artform to be a conflation of the slow, ceremonial proceedings of Noh theater and the flashy elements of kabuki. But Dogugaeshi was always a popular art, not a refined one, usually performed outdoors, by candlelight, with a natural backdrop of mountains ( Mt. Fuji is often the final image). He incorporated many of those elements into his current creation. He copied many of the images he saw, including a furry white puppet of a nine-tailed fox, a mythical creature that frequently appeared in Japanese folk tales and puppet theater ; when he saw one in Japan , he considered it to be “the most beautiful puppet I’d ever seen.” So he made four of them, and when they appear, they seem to be in multiple places at once. To make the presentation even more acceptable to current audiences, Twist incorporated modern music, in addition to the accompaniment of a live shamisen and koto player, Yumiko Tanaka, who’s also an improvisational contemporary musician.
The form of Dogugaeshi is hard to define. There’s a contained box or stage, and various layers of decorated screens are manually slid on and off along a kind of track. The layers seem to go deeper and deeper, playing with our perception and sense of perspective. There is a shape to the piece, though not much of a narrative arc. It begins with a re-creation of the film clip Twist saw, re-imagined to look like an old, scratchy black-and-white movie. Then, in scenes that resemble stylized Japanese woodblocks, he illustrates what people had to do to create these shows: climb mountains, travel far in boats. And layer by layer, he builds up an elaborate castle of embedded rooms, screen by screen, with intricate graphic and perspective variation. At the end, the structure falls apart, collapses completely, and leaves behind a backdrop of the “modern world”’ which represents both the early Dogugaeshi shows and a commentary on the life of the artform. In the final image, there’s a blinding bright light, suggestive of eternity.
The piece comprised some 400 screens, each 4 x 6 feet, and it took a year to create. We never see the puppeteers (there are four), and the fox is the only puppet in the show. Without Twist’s description and backstage tour (a definite boon), I might not have been able to describe exactly what transpired or how it was done. But the production was mesmerizing: long (even at one hour), slow, repetitive, low-tech, sometimes silent, even unnerving, but unlike anything you’ve ever seen before – or are likely to see. Twist was only here for four days, as part of the La Jolla Playhouse’s experimental “Edge Series.” This was the end of a tour which started in 2004 at The Japan Society in New York and included a well-received trip to Japan . Now he’s retiring the show and moving on to other projects, including working with the Broadway team for “The Addams Family” and with Lee Breuer/ Mabou Mines on animated scenery for “A Streetcar Named Desire.” I always thought that, with a name like that, he’d be English, and was surprised to hear his American accent. He’s actually Basil Twist III, purveyor of “Puppets with a Twist.” You may remember him for his marvelous work at the Playhouse on Mabou Mines’ breathtaking “Peter and Wendy” in 2002 (he built some of the puppets and played Peter). He’ll probably be back again. One can always hope.
NEWS AND VIEWS
… The Mystery of Nancy Drew: Get ready for All Things Nancy. The young, perspicacious investigator will be celebrated at the UCSD Library throughout the month of August. Scott Paulson , the library’s outreach coordinator and musician extraordinaire, is “setting the record straight’” by creating a live radio event for Nancy who, unlike her male contemporaries, never had her own show. Classic Nancy Drew mysteries will be performed in the style of old-time radio drama, with sound effects provided by Paulson. The month-long library exhibit will include Nancy Drew memorabilia and scholarship. Refreshments at the two performances will be prepared from the Nancy Drew Cookbook. The radio shows, performed by actors from Write Out Loud, will take place on Saturday, August 15 at 2pm, and Monday, August 17 at 12:30 p.m . on the Lower Level, West Wing of the Geisel Library on the UCSD campus.
… Not-So-Silent Scott: Speaking of Scott Paulson (see Nancy Drew, above), he’ll be making his debut with the Urban Acoustic Playhouse (UAP), an intriguing new mix of performing artists. The brainchild of local performer and promoter Will Edwards, UAP events bring together a wide array of creative artists for unique live entertainment that incorporates audience participation. “The UAP is all about building our community and finding people that have something in common,” says Edwards. “From comedy to bluegrass, storytelling to trivia, the UAP celebrates artistic and intellectual diversity.” The third installment of the venture will include Paulson’s Teeny Tiny Pit Orchestra for Silent Film, which improvises a film score in real-time, with an eclectic selection of instruments and noisemakers. Paulson encourages the audience to provide slapstick sound effects. Also on the bill: Edwards will tell a horror story about tragedy on the prairie, and bluesman Jeffrey Joe Morin will sing original music. The “Off- Color ” House Band performs with special guest Jim Krooskos from The Turtle Project. Saturday, June 27, 6-9 p.m. at 835 25th St. (The Marquee/Golden Hill). The cover charge is $10. Sound clips and further info are at www.urbanacousticplayhouse.com
…What a drag: In association with its current production of “Hedwig and the Angry Inch,” Cygnet Theatre is presenting a “Drag Yourself to Hedwig” event, with half-price tickets for patrons who dress like the title character. Patrons are invited to, as the song says, “Put on some makeup and pull the wig down from the shelf.” While men may drag on as Hedwig, women may feel free to dress as the bearded, cross-dressing Yitzhak. Prior to the show, a costume contest will award a Flex Pass for Cygnet’s 2009-2010 season . The company is also offering “Repeat Offender” cards for those Wig-Head groupies who see the show multiple times; a discount is offere d each time, with a free ticket on the fifth visit.
… Fresh Perspective: The 2nd annual New Perspective Festival features 24 plays, 17 playwrights, 21 directors, 60+ actors and six evenings of performance. Each of three different programs of eight short plays is presented twice. This is an opportunity for actors to try their hands at writing and directing, taking up the slack where the on-hiatus Actors Festival left off. New Perspective runs weekends from June 19-27, at Swedenborg Hall, 1531 Tyler Ave. Tickets are $10-15. http://perspectivefest.com
… How’re we doing, arts-wise ?: This week, for the first time in 11 years, the federal government released a national report card on achievement in the arts. The long-awaited report finds that, not surprisingly, since 1997, 8th grade students have not made significant progress in developing their skills and knowledge in the arts. The National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) in the Arts is the only continuing national measure of academic achievement in America ’s schools. For the study, a nationally representative sample of more than 7900 8th grade students from public and private schools, were asked to create and respond to the visual arts. The study scaled back on music questions, only requesting students to identify music. Due to budgetary and data collection constraints, theater and dance skills were not assessed at all. The findings, as reported in the New York Times, Christian Science Monitor and USA Today, were “mediocre” and “ lackluster .” On the plus side, the results prompted new U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to say “This Arts Report Card should challenge all of us to make K-12 arts programs more available to America ’s children… We can and should do better for America ’s students.” Amen to that.
… Jazzy First Lady: First Lady Michelle Obama just introduced the White House Music Series, which will feature artists of all ages who will perform, educate and interact with young people. The Jazz Studio workshop was launched this week, with classes led by Wynton , Branford and Ellis Marsalis, followed by a concert with jazz great Paquito D’Rivera and child protégé Tony Madruga . The new programs will spotlight music education; student participants were chosen from some of the nations’ top music schools. Mrs. Obama said she wants young people, including her own daughters, to be “aware of all kinds of music – other than hip hop.”
… Iceman in Summer : Vagabond Theatre Project of Ocean Beach , a new company founded by actor/director Antonio “TJ” Johnson, is presenting a site-specific staged reading of Eugene O’Neill’s “The Iceman Cometh.” The acclaimed 1946 drama is set in the saloon of Harry Hope’s cheap New York City rooming house, in the summer of 1912. So, aptly enough, Johnson and co-director/producer Joe Powers are staging their reading in Cheswick’s Bar , 5038 Newport Ave. in OB. The high-profile cast includes Gerard Maxwell, Don Pugh, Jim Caputo , Jason Connors , Ron Ray, Federico Moramarco, Jim Chovick , Joe Powers , Walter Ritter , Brian Barbarin , John Tessmer , Tom Hall, Krista Bell and Celeste Innocenti , among others. Acts One and Two will be presented June 21; Acts Three and Four on June 22, both at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 for both nights. Reserve at (619) 225-0733.
… Music and Dance: Mojalet Dance Collective continues its Summer Sunday Series at the Vine, with a program called “Dance and Opera.” Soprano Stacey Fraser, pianist Josh Tuburan and dancer/choreographer Faith Jensen-Ismay will give a new twist to songs from the “Unknown Kurt Weill Song Album,” combining “traditional operatic singing, modern dance, comedy, satire, passion, empathy and pure fun.” At The Vine: Mojalet’s Place for the Arts at the Bernardo Winery, 13330 Paseo Del Verano North. (858) 487-1866; www.mojalet.com
Erratum : In last week’s review of the Choreographers’ Showcase at UCSD, the names of the performers in Rebecca Salzer ’s “Night” were mis -assigned. The dancers were Matthew Armstrong (senior biochem major with a dance minor) and Rebecca Bruno (UC San Diego Dance alum). The actors were Kevin Kelleher ( Salzer’s husband) and Jessica Watkins (third year MFA acting student).
PAT’S PICKS: BEST BETS
“The Fantasticks ” – musical, fanciful, delightful
Lamb’s Players Theatre, through 7/28
“The Butcher of Baraboo” – cleaver meets clever in a dark comedy, deliciously executed (so to speak)
Moxie Theatre at Diversionary Theatre, through 6/28
“Four Dogs and a Bone” – another funny skewering of “ Hollywood types,” wonderfully done
New Village Arts Theatre, through 6/28
“Cornelia” – world premiere drama by the creator of “Big Love”; remarkable story, wonderfully enacted
The Old Globe, through 6/21; www.oldglobe.org
Pat Launer is the SDNN theater critic.
To read any of her prior reviews, type ‘ Pat Launer ’ into the SDNN Search box.